A national survey found the median cost of long-term care rose in 2020 when compared to last year, but while Indiana also experienced increases, some sectors of the industry saw prices drop.
This is according to the annual Genworth Cost of Care Survey. National 2020 data revealed continuing increases in long-term costs and the impact of COVID-19 also added more hardship on the industry as it coped with the pandemic.
The survey found national annual median costs increased 6.1% for assisted living facilities; increases of between 4.3% and 4.4% for home care; and increases of between 3.2% and 3.5% for skilled nursing facilities. Providers indicated more rate increases were likely in the next six months to cover the added cost of providing care during the pandemic.
In Indiana, the annual median cost for adult day health care in 2020 was $20,800, down 5.9% from last year. The annual median cost for a private room in a nursing home in the state was $101,835, down 0.4% from last year.
Genworth said rising rates are a regular occurrence in the industry, but the pandemic introduced many new challenges including: a shortage of workers in the face of increasing demand for care, compounded by competition from higher-paying, less-demanding jobs; anxiety about exposure to COVID-19; parents needing to stay home with school-age children; increased spending for training on new safety procedures, testing, purchase of PPE and cleaning supplies; higher mandated minimum wages as well as higher recruiting and retention costs, including hazard pay of up to 50% more for workers caring for COVID-19 patients; and added benefits such as free childcare.
Many providers contacted by Genworth said they were trying to absorb the added costs, but more than half or 62% of respondents believed that they would eventually have to raise rates in the next six months with 43% saying those increases would be at least 5% or more.
Genworth's annual Cost of Care Survey contacted nearly 60,000 long-term care providers nationwide to complete nearly 15,000 surveys between July and August.